Early Vocal Signs and Symptoms of Neurologic Disease Vocal symptoms of fatigue, unsteady tone, hypophonia, abnormal prosody, tremor, and hyper-nasality may occur as isolated symptoms and represent the first sign of an underlying neurologic disorder (Hanson, Garratt, & Ward, 1984; Hanson, 1991; Feijo et al., 2004). Additionally, while clinical presentation of dysarthria is a hallmark for a ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 2005
Early Vocal Signs and Symptoms of Neurologic Disease
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Donna Lundy
    Department of Otolaryngology, University of Miami, Miami, FL
  • Michelle Goldszlager
    Department of Otolaryngology, University of Miami, Miami, FL
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   March 01, 2005
Early Vocal Signs and Symptoms of Neurologic Disease
SIG 3 Perspectives on Voice and Voice Disorders, March 2005, Vol. 15, 3-8. doi:10.1044/vvd15.1.3
SIG 3 Perspectives on Voice and Voice Disorders, March 2005, Vol. 15, 3-8. doi:10.1044/vvd15.1.3
Vocal symptoms of fatigue, unsteady tone, hypophonia, abnormal prosody, tremor, and hyper-nasality may occur as isolated symptoms and represent the first sign of an underlying neurologic disorder (Hanson, Garratt, & Ward, 1984; Hanson, 1991; Feijo et al., 2004). Additionally, while clinical presentation of dysarthria is a hallmark for a neurologic etiology, dysphonia frequently presents as a primary feature of dysarthria and may make differentiation difficult (Kent, Vorperian, Kent, & Duffy, 2003). As well, laryngeal and nasopharyngeal findings of bowed vocal folds, abnormal movement patterns, and velopharyngeal incompetence may also herald the onset of neurologic disease. Furthermore, it is important to recognize that most neurologic disorders associated with laryngeal dysfunction do not occur in isolation and frequently affect other parts of the body (Hanson, 1991). Thus, the appropriate management of these individuals relies heavily on recognizing vocal signs and symptoms of specific neurologic disorders.
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